The Unfortunate Tales of Being “Recognised”

Image of Gem holding a cup of tea

When you are someone with a genetic condition, it’s very common for people to mistake you for someone else. I’ll often go about my business and someone will stop me and say, “hello Megan!” (alternate names available) and I will explain I am in fact not Megan, but don’t worry. The person will then tell me how much I look like the other person. I will smile, nod and carry on…

I get this probably, twice a week (I know, who even am I, am I Gem?). So in this post I thought I’d talk about some of my favourite situations in the last month of being “recognised”…

The Arm Grab

So I’m going to meet a friend, I pass a cafe. I’m just thinking about my route when someone sitting outside of the cafe grabs my arm and shouts “YOU WENT TO BENIDORM!”.

I haven’t been to benidorm.

If I did in fact meet this woman in Benidorm, surely you would start that conversation differently (and of course not grab them), oh I don’t know, something like “excuse me, I know this is random but… Did I see you in Benidorm in [state month]”. Maybe that’s just me…

The funny thing is that the person asked me if I was sure I wasn’t in Benidorm. She was so adamant that I actually had to pause and pretend to think if I’ve been on holiday recently just to keep her happy…

You’re on telly!

The next one. I was in a restaurant waiting for friends to join the meal. The waiter takes me to the accessible entrance, he has a big grin on his face as I wheel to the table. I decide to order a drink whilst I wait so I don’t look #lonely, as you do. I go for a daiquiri and relax. After I order the waiter says “can I ask you something?”

Here we go

Me: Yes, of course

Waiter: Were you on telly?

Now, If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know that I do get mistaken for the lovely Sam Renke quite a lot so I smiled and said “what do you think I was on” waiting for the usual answer.

The waiter shakes his eyebrows and grins “THE UNDATEABLES!”

My face drops. Are you joking me. I am not ready for this in my hungover state. I can’t help but react instantly and say “are you having a laugh”. Of course I was smirking as I could see the waiter going red. Don’t get me wrong, I know people who have appeared on the show and that’s completely their choice. But, for a stranger to ask if I was on The Undateables did rub me up the wrong way, I’ve got to be honest. It’s safe to say I milked the situation all night, joking that I wanted to talk to the manager, exaggerating how offended I was. It was brilliant. Poor guy. Bet he’ll think twice before doing that again.

The Selfie

It was a weekday afternoon on my day off, and I really just fancied a can of pop. You know how it is. I had no makeup on and my comfy clothes but the shop is only round the corner so I thought I’d go for it. I asked my mum if she’d like to come and bring the dogs while we’re out. Lovely. I said to mum I’ll go and pop in and you stay with the dogs.

I head straight to the fridges and get the treasure. The shop assistant asks if I’d like any help, I say yes please and I’m grateful I don’t have to balance the cans on my chair whilst driving. I pop to the till and that’s when he popped the question, did he ask if I wanted a bag? Nope, if it was by cash/card? Nope… he asked:

“Can I take a picture, I mean, a selfie?”

I stopped in my tracks, looked up and down and genuinely thought to myself, have I got something on me? What’s happened? With a confused face, I asked, why?

“Because I like you” with a smirk on his face.

Oh dear god.

Let’s just clarify, I don’t recognise this man. At all.

I stared at him for an awkward few seconds and said, “erm, no”.

To be fair to the guy, he took it well. But it just baffled me, why would I say yes to this? Where would the picture go? Does he not realise asking a young woman for a picture in the middle of the day in his place of work is SUPER weird?

I was chuckling all the way out, wondering how many customers he asks if they want a selfie.

So the moral of the story I hear you ask? If you think you recognise someone, make sure they’re the person you’re thinking of first and don’t call them undateable before you ask for a selfie…


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